By John Wilgers, President & CEO, Greater Twin Cities United Way
After months and months of anticipation and a historic trial, I am thankful and relieved that justice has been served and pray that George Floyd’s family and our community find some peace in the midst of our grief. As I and many others have said before, this must be more than a moment, but rather, a movement toward real and much needed change in our country.
While the trial has ended, let us not forget that injustices in our systems still exist, and we must not relent when it comes to advancing equity.
As I reflect on 400 years of oppression and resulting disparities that People of Color have experienced, as well as the challenges and heartbreaks of the past year, the wisdom of Mary-Frances Winters comes to mind. In her book titled “Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit,” she reminds us of the burdens and trauma our Black neighbors experience every day, leading to inherited racist disparities in health and generations of inequitable life outcomes. Mary-Frances also reminds us that we’re all responsible for eradicating racism, and we must be active anti-racists. For White folks and other non-Black People of Color aspiring to do so, her DARE concept serves as a helpful framework: Decenter ourselves and listen; Act in the face of inequity and exclusion; Reflect on our whiteness and other identities, values, assumptions and power; and Educate ourselves. You can find more of her wisdom here.
At Greater Twin Cities United Way, we will continue to actively and humbly build our capacity around creating equity for all, be active anti-racists, and remain steadfast in serving our community with transparency, collaboration and agility at the center of our work, guided by the light of equity. When we unite as changemakers, we will change narratives. We will disrupt systems that are holding people back. And we will create equitable solutions to unlock human potential – resulting in lasting, positive change for all people, regardless of their income, race or place.